This editorial was actually written by former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford, Jr…
MAY 11, 2011
Washington vs. Energy Security
Even former President Clinton calls the Obama administration’s deep water drilling policy ‘ridiculous.’
By HAROLD FORD, JR.
When President Obama introduced his energy plan in March, he pointed out that the U.S. keeps going “from shock to trance on the issue of energy security, rushing to propose action when gas prices rise, then hitting the snooze button when they fall again.”
It’s true that since the Nixon administration U.S. leaders have all made the same commitment to cutting our reliance on foreign oil, finding reliable sources of clean energy, and keeping energy prices low. Yet Americans keep hearing only short-term solutions and narrowly focused rules and regulations. The U.S. still imports more than half its oil, gasoline prices are at historic highs, and consumers are paying the price.
One bipartisan policy tradition is to deny Americans the use of our own resources…
Here are a few steps to take:
First, let’s conduct a comprehensive review of existing policies, rules and restrictions and root out any that needlessly hamper energy production at home…
Second, let’s develop the skills we need to find new and better ways to recover domestic supplies of energy—and to develop next-generation fuels to secure the future. That means encouraging more students to study math, science and other disciplines this industry needs.
And third, let’s stop demonizing Big Oil to score political points…
Mr. Ford, a former Democratic congressman from Tennessee, is a professor at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.
“One bipartisan policy tradition is to deny Americans the use of our own resources”…
Obama & Boot also took oil shale leases off the table In 2009. The USGS estimates that the Green River Oil Shales, alone, have 8 to 12 trillion barrels of oil in place… 1.4 trillion of which is likely to be recoverable.
If I take 80 billion bbl of the undiscovered resources on the map above and assume that they were developed at the time they were placed off limits and add in 120 billion barrels of oil shale recovered from 2022 to 2100, this is what US oil production would look like…
Bear in mind that I am using less than the US Gov’t estimate (116 billion bbl) of undiscovered conventional oil resources. Past history tells us that the oil industry routinely finds and produces 4-6 times as much oil as the gov’t thinks we will find and produce.
Am I being overly optimistic in projecting more than 15 million barrels per day (BOPD) of production from oil shales by 2100?
The hydrocarbon characteristics of the the oil shales of the Green River formation in the Piceance Basin are superior to those of the Athabasca oil sands. The hydrocarbon areal density is about 13 times that of the Athabasca deposits.
Canada is currently producing ~ 1 million barrels of oil per day from Athabasca oil sand deposits. They expect to increase that to 2 million barrels per day over the next decade. The Green River oil shale deposits in the Piceance basin could easily outperform Athabasca within a decade and with a much smaller environmental footprint.
Athabasca oil sands are currently economically competitive with the OPEC basket. Green River formation oil shales are superior, by a wide margin, to Athabasca oil sands. The Green River oil shales would yield 100,000 bbl of 38° API sweet refinery feed per 160,000 tons of ore & overburden. Athabasca oil sands yield 100,000 bbl of 34° sweet refinery feed per 430,000 tons of ore & overburden. The unconventional oil is actually very light and very sweet; the OPEC Basket is actually heavier (32.7° API).
Athabasca is economically competitive now. Green River could be economically competitive now. Peak oil my @$$. The only obstacles are environmental terrorists… I mean activists… and the US government.